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X26                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP.
relations-did not endure, and when Ala-u-Din Moh^med
endeavoured to depose the Caliph, as mentioned below,
the latter appealed to the far-off Chengiz Khan. In other
words, the head of Islam invited a horde of Mongol
pagans to attack a Moslem state.
The Khwarazm Dynasty at its Zenith.—The death of
Sultan Sanjar was the signal for the break-up of his
dominions. Il-Arslan succeeded his father Atsiz on the
throne of Khiva, and, like him, suffered defeat at the hands
of the Kara Khitai—in A.H. 568 (i 172). In the following
year he died, and civil war broke out between his two SOJKS,
Tekish and Sultan Shah Mahmud, in which the latter
was aided by Muayyid, the Governor of Nishapun
Tekish inflicted a crushing defeat on his brother, who
took refuge with the Ghorids, and Muayyid was captured
and cut in two. In A.H. 588 (1192) Tekish killed the
Kara Khitai receiver of tribute, and in retaliation Sultan
Shah's claims were supported by the incensed Gur Khan,
In order to protect his kingdom, Tekish caused the
Oxus valley to be flooded, and the campaign produced no
definite result. Sultan Shah, however, was helped in a
descent on Sarakhs, which he captured, and his expulsion
of the Ghuzz from this district led to their migration
to the Kerman province- Sultan Shah afterwards took
Nishapur, and until his death in A.H. 589 (1192) was
a thorn in the side of his elder brother. Upon being
freed from this permanent source of danger, Tekish in
A.H. 590 (1194) overthrew Toghril III., the last Seljuk
to rule in Persia, and added the greater part of Western
Persia to his empire.
In A.H. 596 (1200) Ala-u-Din Mohamed, whose
career resembles that of Sanjar, succeeded to the throne
and extended his empire in every direction with such
success that in a few years Balkh to the north and Kerman
to the south acknowledged his suzerainty. He now
deemed himself strong enough to challenge his Kara Khitai
overlords, the murder of a receiver of tribute once again
constituting the act of defiance. He invaded the territory
of the Kara Khitai, and in his first campaign suffered a
severe defeat In the following year, however, in conjunc-